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Best Lucrative Ideas to Earn Extra Income in 2021

8 mins
Updated by Ryan Glenn
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If you’re looking for smart ways to earn some extra money, then you need a side hustle. There are hundreds of ways to earn extra income on the side. Thanks to the power of the internet, you can now access opportunities beyond your borders and take advantage of what’s in front of you. The proverbial world is indeed at your fingertips.

Some of the strategies below offer quick ways to make money, while others will need a sizable investment – both in time and money – to materialize. Either way, you can select a side hustle from any listed below to see which works best for you.

In this article:

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing, or performance-based marketing is a popular way to earn some extra money. It involves the promotion of another company’s product or service in exchange for income. Think of an affiliate as the salesperson for the company. It’s a huge sector that is projected to hit $8.2 billion by 2022. When a customer (known as the referral) finds the product and purchases it through the affiliate’s dedicated link, the affiliate gets an agreed-upon commission.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most lucrative side income ideas available. It is a popular tactic that brands leverage to drive sales and boost growth. For brands, it’s a no-brainer.

A recent study shows that 81 percent of brands and 84 percent of publishers leverage affiliate marketing’s power and reach.

There is every indication that this trend would increase in the future, especially as affiliate marketing spending is reported to grow by 10.1 percent annually. What’s more? 55% of affiliate marketers work from home. But, how do you get started with affiliate marketing? Can you also generate a sizeable side income from it? Yes, you can.

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Find an Affiliate Platform

However, you need to start with a platform. A platform is where you build your audience. This could be on a website or on social media. For websites, setting up a blog today is easy and fast. There are thousands of tutorials online that can get you started. Whatever you do, you stand a chance of succeeding with a blog if you niche down.

That way you can build a specific audience that you can promote your affiliate links to. For social media, one platform suitable for beginners is YouTube due to its low barrier to entry and how quick it is to grow your account.

However, you should also be aware of a few things before you jump into the world of affiliate marketing to earn extra income:

  • Sell things you’re interested in: This is critical if you own a niche on the internet. You want to sell stuff you’ve used in the past and are interested in it. That way, it becomes easier to grab the attention of your audience. You can’t run a sports blog and sell baby diapers.
  • Look out for commission rates: The commissions on your chosen affiliate platform determines how much you earn. Before settling in with a client, you should compare rates, read their policies, and ensure they’re terms you can work with.
  • Stay current with trends: The affiliate marketing space is fiercely competitive. You want to make sure that you stay on top of all trends to remain competitive as well. Keep up-to-date on strategies to improve your conversions, and, in the long run, your revenues.

Cryptocurrency Mining

The cryptocurrency industry is quite vibrant. With rising Bitcoin prices and interest from Fortune 500 companies like PayPal, there’s never been a time as good as now to earn extra income from mining. There are several ways to eke out a side cryptocurrency income. However, none seems more popular than mining.

Bitcoin mining is the process of validating transactions on the network and creating new bitcoins. It’s a critical component of the blockchain and a profitable way to earn rewards. These rewards come in terms of units of the cryptocurrency in question.

Mining is indeed a great side hustle to earn extra money. To set up a traditional mining system, in most cases, you need expensive hardware procurement and lots of technical know-how, which could be quite pricey. Besides the cost of electricity, mining rigs for a small Bitcoin operation could cost thousands of dollars.


Other expenses that should be factored in are power bills, backup generators, cooling fans, and others. But, you don’t have to go all in to mine Bitcoin.

You can also benefit from cloud mining without having to purchase specialized mining hardware. Cloud mining involves paying a service provider to mine cryptocurrencies for you in exchange for a subscription fee. With cloud mining, you can mine several cryptocurrencies without requiring large investments upfront.

Cryptocurrency Staking

Another significant side hustle idea to earn extra money is staking. With blockchain, transactions have to be validated. Some cryptocurrencies do this through mining or a Proof-of-Work, while others use a Proof-of-Stake consensus. Staking is the process of validating transactions and earning new rewards. The stake (your digital asset) is an incentive for the network’s maintenance through ownership.

Staking functions as an alternative operating consensus to mining, which, as we noted earlier, can be pretty expensive and challenging. With staking, you need minimal technical knowledge and set up to begin.

How staking works

  • Meet the cryptocurrency’s minimum balance and deposit the tokens into
    When you meet the cryptocurrency’s minimum balance, they deposit that amount of the asset into the network as a stake.
  • The stake’s size is directly proportional to their node’s chances of being selected to make the next block.
  • If the node creates a block, the validator gets a reward. This is similar to how miners get rewards for validating transactions on a proof-of-work blockchain.

As with mining, you would also have to check to see if an asset you want to stake is profitable. Some of the best proof of stake coins include Tezos, DASH, Tron, NEO, Cosmos, and VeChain. Alternatively, you can use platforms like Staking Rewards to discover staking rewards, percentage of coins staked, and other valuable details.

Freelance Services

If you’ve got a skill and would like to get paid for it, freelancing might be the perfect way to earn extra money. Through freelancing, you can lend your skills to an organization and help them grow and achieve their goals. In return, you get paid.

Freelancing has become pretty popular, thanks to the rise in remote work and the emergence of the “gig economy.” It benefits all parties involved – companies can get top talent to handle jobs for them without worrying about costs like health insurance, unemployment benefits, sick leave, etc. On the other hand, the freelancer also gets greater convenience to work and can secure gigs from as many sources as possible.

Platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and more provide opportunities for you to showcase your skills and land freelance gigs.

As with most things, sales might be slow when you start. The freelance industry has gotten very competitive, and you’ll find top talent duking it out for jobs no matter the niche. As a beginner, you might struggle to get your first gig. Even when you do, there’s a big chance it would be for less than you’re worth. This trend could also continue for your first few gigs but keep at it.

Freelance sites run on the principle of ratings. The higher the reviews and ratings you get from clients, the faster you’re able to move up the rung of top-rated freelancers in your field. Soon enough, you’ll be able to bid for the big-ticket gigs and get paid big bucks.

Rent Extra Space on Airbnb

Airbnb is the world’s leading online home rental platform. Like Uber, Postmates, and Lyft, the service has become a poster child for the “shared economy.”

With Airbnb, you can list your house – or any space you have around like a basement or an extra room – to visitors in exchange for a fee. The service has become immensely popular over the past few years, with users favoring it because of its relative affordability over hotels.

How much extra income can you earn on the side as an Airbnb host? Statistics show that an average Airbnb host can make up to $924 a month. That’s pretty high. However, the numbers can vary based on a myriad of factors, including:

  • The apartment’s location and neighborhood
  • The size of your space
  • How much you charge for your space
  • How often you rent the space out
  • The home and its aesthetic appeal (furnishing, maintenance, etc.)
  • Your rating on Airbnb (which will determine demand)

Airbnb Features

While these factors are important, your rental price could also be a deal-breaker. You’ll struggle to get clients if your space is too pricey. With Airbnb, you need to learn how to set the right price – one that favors you and the client.

earn extra money with AirBNB

Luckily, Airbnb has several platforms that can help you earn extra money. The service’s metrics section allows you to compare your rental with others in your area. It also shows you when you should consider reducing (or raising) your prices, depending on expected changes in demand.

You can set minimums for how long people can stay in your home. For instance, a weeklong minimum will help you offset the cost of turnover (including upkeep, cleaning, and more).

There’s also the possibility of earning additional charges for guests or any other services you might provide (cleaning, equipment rentals, city tours for foreign tenants, etc.)

Drive for Uber or Lyft

In your spare time, you could join Uber or Lyft and chauffeur people around in your car.

These services have done a great deal to help people with additional income. According to an NPR report, an average ride-share driver makes between $8.55 and $11.77 per hour net the platform’s commission. Other sources pin the median monthly income of a ride-share driver at $155 per month and an average of $364. This isn’t so high, but considering that it’s your side hustle, it should do fine.

Now that we covered its financials, you should also be aware of some requirements before you work for a ride-share company driver.

Driver Requirements

  • You should meet the minimum age to drive in your city
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have at least a year with licensed driving experience in the United States (for people under 23, this increases to three years)
  • Provide proof of residence in your state
  • Pass a screening process that includes a possible background check and a review of your driving record
  • Meet your state’s minimum auto insurance requirements
Uber Money

Maximizing your earnings on Uber or Lyft is never easy. Familiarizing yourself with the platform’s bonus option is a must. You should also take advantage of peak hours to increase your daily earnings. Maintaining a consistently high rating would also boost your income on both ridesharing services.

Earn Extra Income

Our list is not exhaustive, but it still contains a number of possible side hustle ideas you can try your hands on and get paid. Keep in mind to select a side hustle determined by your interests, skills, and capabilities. And if you have a 9 to 5, you need a side hustle that functions as a passion project.

Choose a side hustle that you’re willing to sacrifice your time for. Have fun, enjoy yourself, and make money. Soon enough, you might just earn more than what your main job pays you.

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Jimmy Aki
Based in the United Kingdom, Jimmy is an economic researcher with outstanding hands-on and heads-on experience in Macroeconomic finance analysis, forecasting and planning. He has...